North Richmond resident Van Hoa Lam reached the impressive age of 110 years this past winter.
Hoa was born in Vietnam in 1910 and moved to Australia in 1986. When she first moved to Richmond she would “do exercise every morning with a group of friends in the park, attend community groups and get to know many new friends.”
Hoa still lives independently in North Richmond and is an avid AFL fan. “I especially enjoy watching Australian football, I regularly watch football matches and sometimes watch the previous football matches on YouTube,” said Hoa.
For many years, Hoa has always celebrated her birthday with her friends at North Richmond Community Health where she regularly attends the Chair-based Exercise Group and Senior’s Group. This year, Hoa was unable to share her momentous birthday with her friends due to COVID-19 lockdown restrictions but the staff at North Richmond Community Health wished her happy birthday over the phone and sent her a card from the team.
“I am not allowed to meet my friends every month in the senior’s group, [and I cannot] go to weekly chair-based exercise group, nor go to the temple and I have not had any visitors! So I took the photos that were taken from [last year’s birthday celebrations] and looked at the pictures of my old friends to recall that joy.”
Hoa is working hard to remain active during lockdown.
“During this time in lockdown, I am still doing exercise consistently every day. I usually cycle on my bike 100 circles a day, moving my arms and legs following the instructions that I remember from the group exercise class. And my children come to visit and bring me food every day.
In my opinion, the main secret to a long life is to move your body, exercise moderately and maintain a good mood. That’s the experience I’ve had since I had a stroke.”
Hoa also credits the Australian Government’s home care assistance for helping her “live a healthy and long life.”
Hoa is staying positive during Melbourne lockdown and hopes a COVID-19 vaccine is found soon.